When it comes to getting your prescription medication for an affordable price, nothing compares to comparing prices. We talk about online, international options for prescription drug savings a lot. Americans use our site, PharmacyChecker.com, to find much lower prices available abroad for their prescribed medications. They also use us to find discount coupons for their local pharmacy.
After a disappointing visit to Walgreens, Garrick Feldman, editor in chief of the Arkansas Leader, did it the old-fashioned way by calling around his town. In doing so, he discovered how people are price-gouged by not only Big Pharma—but by their local pharmacies. His story is awesome.
Weeping at Walgreens
The story starts out simple enough: Feldman’s wife has an ear infection and is prescribed Ofloxacin Otic by an urgent care clinic. They decide to send the prescription to their local Walgreens, as they’ve always done. Thinking it would be a speedy, painless process, he opts for the drive-through—but, to his shock, he’s faced with a $260 bill at checkout.
$260 for a tiny bottle.
By some stroke of luck, he had forgotten his wallet and Walgreens could not use his credit card that he had on file. Lucky because he then took the opportunity to call another pharmacy.
Getting Warmer at Walmart
Feldman called Walmart and was pleasantly surprised with a price tag 50% cheaper than Walgreens. The bottle was around $120. This got him suspicious (alas, a great journalist) of what other pharmacies might offer, so he called around to local pharmacies.
Ultimately, he found the same exact bottle of Ofloxacin Otic for just $23—and he could have got it for just $6 at another pharmacy if they hadn’t been out. What is wrong with this picture? Why is a pharmacy selling a drug for 1000% more than another pharmacy down the road?! Mr. Feldman contacted Walgreens to inquire but was greeted with a spokesman trying to blame the cost differences on insurance coverage…likely story. The thing is that all of those prices were cash prices, without insurance.
When we talk about outrageous drug pricing, the conversation is usually centered around “Big Pharma”—or the influence of pharmaceutical companies and how they arbitrarily set prices—but what about huge pharmacy chains, such as Walgreens, CVS, or Walmart? We call it Big Pharmacy. It turns out—and, of course—these guys are almost as greedy. What’s an American consumer to do?
Well, you know our rap: compare prices locally, and, if that doesn’t work out, compare prices among reputable international online pharmacies. Psst: Drug prices are almost always cheaper at that international pharmacy but look local first!
CVS, Ofloxacin Otic, walgreens, Walmart